The basic culture of California is dishonesty. People lie, cheat, and steal with abandon, and those are your friends. The overall attitude is an arrogant "better than thou" with over the top social abuse. The people are generally good-looking with well kept bodies, and are active in the outdoors. But it doesn't mean much because of the extraordinary shallowness here. Bodies are more important than the person him/her self. Making money and sex is everything. So lots of partying and "fun", because that is the meaning of life to them. Doesn't get any deeper than that. Expect to get dissed as a matter of everyday life, because in California you are what you look like as if you were a character in the movies.
The social structure is medieval. The government is corrupt, schools are corrupt, the medical system is corrupt, and the police are corrupt. All these institutions regularly abuse people in astounding ways, neglect their basic jobs, and treat you according to some invisible social hierarchy. Kind of like the "nobility" that rapes the "peasantry" because they can. It is the least ethical state in which I've lived.
If you are shallow, arrogant, materialistic, abusive to "inferiors", unethical, dishonest, think lying is ok, and love to steal from your friends, that the body itself is the most important thing about a person, that life has no meaning other than partying, you'll do well here.
Extraordinary selfishness abounds here. Californians like to think they are diverse and compassionate, but in fact, they just don't care about you. Think gay. California is not compassionate about gays, they just don't care about them as people. The homeless situation is the same. I never saw so much homelessness anywhere. They just don't care about anyone except themselves. I've seen a good-looking woman in a Mercedes hit a well dressed man with her car as she was driving out of a parking garage, then become annoyed and impatient because some slob ran into her car.
Californians like to think their state is the most beautiful in the world, that no other place of equal natural beauty exists on this planet, and that they are crime-free, not like the East coast which is all about crime (in their minds).
They like to think they are progressive, when in fact all they like to do is put in their two cents, with no larger thought than "listen to me" ... say something. They talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. You can not find a more hypocritical culture anywhere.
So if you are shallow, materialistic, have a good body, and worship money as if it were a god, you will like it here. If you are looking for a meaningful life and good relationships, forget about it.
San Francisco, California does not want to put suicide barriers on the Golden Gate Bridge because it will "spoil" the view.